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A Love Letter to Some Friends

I tried to think of a good title to this post and started out with the one you see above. Then I thought it probably sounded a little corny or sentimental or shallow or something like that. So I set out to improve it and come up with something that was better.

I tried about 10 different titles and every time I came up with something, it got really corny and shallow. So, I'm right back where I started. I'm trying to learn about how to let well enough alone and keep things simple instead of coming up with something that's perfect.

So here goes. This is a love letter to four really good friends. The only person I'm going to name is Brad because in addition to everything else he means to me, he's really my best friend in the world. The other three know who they are.

A few weeks ago Brad and I were writing about Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays. Brad's always considered Thanksgiving as his favorite holiday and I've always considered Christmas my favorite. This year, though, I got into the Thanksgiving spirit more than I usually do, and I think that was because Brad's enthusiasm rubbed off on me. We did a lot of talking about how thankful we were to have each other and then started realizing all the other people in our lives who mean a lot to us.

So I was having this really long talk with these friends last night about something that happened to me a number of weeks ago, something that was really hard and painful for me to go through. I don't really want to go into all that here because every time I talk about it, I end up getting very upset. Besides, what I'm writing about today is a thank you to them for being my friends. That's all this is about. My hope is that maybe this will encourage everyone to think about what friendship is all about and let the ones you love know that.

I remember having an assignment to write an essay in one of my high school English classes. It was one of those assignments where the teacher picked the topic and it was something like, "What Friendship Means to Me." I have no clue or memory of what I wrote and I think the reason it never stayed with me is because I was writing it for a grade. Nothing was happening in my life at the time to make me think about "friendship." It was not coming from my heart.

While talking to my friends last night I started getting more emotional than I normally am. When I first started telling them what was bothering me, I was getting angry and upset just remembering what happened to me. I've talked to Brad about all this before and he's been incredibly helpful and supportive. I don't know how I could have kept my sanity without him.

Just like Brad has always been, the three friends I was talking to last night were genuinely interested in hearing what I had to say and were not judging me in any way. Even though I know people mean well, I've always hated it when people say things like, "Oh, you really shouldn't feel that way," or, "Don't be so upset." Last night my friends were letting me feel whatever I was feeling without trying to make me feel what they thought I should be feeling. I felt completely loved and cared for.

They also gave some examples of similar things they've been through in their own lives. It still amazes me how comforting this feels, probably because I don't feel so alone.

I woke up this morning feeling like a huge weight had been lifted off my back. I'm still thinking about the thing that originally upset me, but it feels like it's starting to fade away in the distance. I can still see it but it's not like it's sitting here inside my head like it's been. I'm feeling very loved and cared for, not only by Brad (as usual), but by these three other friends who took time out of their lives to listen to me, encourage me to say what I was thinking and feeling, and to accept me without any judgment.

I've written here in the blog (back when we first started this thing) about what that word "love" means to me. I was writing about the kind of love I have for Brad and especially about how you know when you truly love someone, like in a romantic sense. Last night I got to see how "love" has many meanings beyond romance.

I think I'm very lucky to have people who genuinely love and care for me. Brad already knows how I feel about him. What I'm writing now is to say how lucky I am to have these three particular friends in my life.

Today I know if I was writing the essay I mentioned above about what friendship means to me, it would come out completely different from what I wrote in high school. That one was a required assignment and I was writing it for a grade. The one I'm writing today is from my heart.

So, yeah, I think I'll stick with the original title for this post because I think it says just want I want it to.
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